Cyclone Cracks Called ‘Design Flaw’

Cracks that have formed on the tails of most of the RCAF’s fleet of Cyclone helicopters resulted from adding military equipment to the structures. The Cyclones are militarized versions of the Sikorsky S-92 civilian helicopter, which of course don’t have the gear attached to the tail.  Sikorsky spokesman John Dorrian told the CBC the cracks “are the result of local stresses caused by the electronic support measures and [satellite/communications] antenna mounts which were not previously anticipated.” He said the civilian S-92s don’t have the issue.

The first cracks were found during maintenance in late 2021 and subsequent inspections found 21 of 23 Cyclones had the cracks. The fleet was grounded and the aircraft are being repaired. The repairs are complicated by the fact that none of the cracks are the same and each aircraft needs a “unique solution.” It’s not clear how many of the helicopters have been returned to service.